Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bloggie friends

In March this year, one of the bloggers I follow, Jane Kennedy Sutton announced she was taking a break from blogging. Yesterday Jane’s husband posted on her blog that she died last Friday.

I’m still trying to make sense of the complex reaction I’m feeling. I don’t know Ms Kennedy Sutton personally. I’m only a very recent follower. My interaction with her was confined to me reading her posts and leaving a comment. She only posted once a week.

Yet when I read her husband’s announcement, my heart fell with a thud. I cried.

I know that having social networking “friends” may not seem real to some. But my sadness at her passing is most tangible.

I guess it’s the shock that I won’t be seeing her regular posts on Mondays any more. I guess it’s the very transient nature of this brand bad new world of social networking that’s hitting me hard too.

Take care everyone. I’m off to go and hug Charlie! x

51 comments:

Amy and The House of Cats said...

I completely understand your being upset by this - I consider all my blog friends in the same catagory as my non-blog friends. I think in some ways blog friends even know more about each other than non-blog friends, because we use the blogs to talk about things a bit easier sometimes. I would be more surprised if it hasn't upset you - you lost a friend, even though you didn't know her long or in person, you still new her. We are sending you hugs and her family lots of comforting purrs and prayers.

Reenie said...

You are a good friend Jenn.

I have been rather ill lately, and at one point it got rather serious. And at that point, I wondered- should I ask Crazy to make a post and let my blog friends know should anything happen to me, or should I just stop existing and let him handle it the way he wants and just let it be...

I probably should gave written about it in my blog- but sometimes words don't come easy. I'm okay now- trying to get back to life, but makes me happy to know that you probably would have cared...

:)

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm sorry to hear about Jane Kennedy Sutton. I didn't know her.

Your reaction is normal. We read someone's words. We know a person is behind them. We get something out of those words.

Several months ago, an agent, Jennifer Laughran said one of her clients had her cancer return. I read the client, LK Madigan's post to announce it. It turned out to be her last. I was reading her book the day she died. It filled me with sadness, and I hadn't even followed her blog before.

Take care.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think I would have felt the same way. Even though you've never met the people you know from social networking, they go become acquaintances and friends. Sorry for the loss of your friend.

Lydia K said...

How terribly sad. I wasn't a follower but I easily could have been. It's shocking.

Deborah said...

I am so sorry for your loss of your bloggy friend. I can understand how you would be so sad. I feel like I have made friends over the blogging world too and I totally understand how you can be so upset. Our networking friends are real. I sometimes feel like I talk (comment) to them more than my friends who live in the next town.
Take care and keep hugging Charlie.
xxoo
Deborah

Holly Ruggiero said...

I agree. We make blogging friends and connections and it is heart-breaking when something happens. Jane will be missed.

Katnip Lounge said...

I understand completely. I feel so close to many of my blogging friends! My sympathies on your loss, and give Charlie a kiss for me.

Repositório said...

Receive my hug!
Take care of yourself too.

The Words Crafter said...

Wow, I was a new follower, too. I met her in the A to Z Challenge.

I have two kinds of friends. My face to face ones, and the ones that live in my computer. Both are real to me, and I understand what you mean.

How sad! Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry to hear this. As far as I'm concerned, friends met via social networking are just as real as friends met any other way. Take care.

Jemi Fraser said...

How sad! I hadn't met Jane yet. I do think we really become connected through our blogs and social networking sites. I'm so sorry. *hugs*

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kitty, I'm in shock as well. I met Jane last year through the BBTCafe Yahoo group and visited her blog every Monday morning. My heart goes out to her husband. I know I'd be devastated.
And you can give Charlie an extra hug for me.

LTM said...

UGH! I feel what you're saying so much, and it's just because we've formed this group that's very close-knit. I look forward to seeing Charlie and reading your funny posts and comments, and the thought of that space being empty. That spot not being filled. It's very palpable. :o|

I'm so sorry for your loss. ((big hugs))

mshatch said...

How kind of her husband to let people know what had happened.

I'm sorry you won't be enjoying her posts anymore.

Tucker The Crestie said...

So sorry to hear this. :(

Ann said...

Funny how that happens. Here we are all interacting forming friendships and yet very few of us have met. I know exactly what you mean.

How very sad.

Brigid said...

That is so sad, Old Kitty. I never came across that lady's site but I offer my smpathy. A friend is a friend regardless of how we know each other.

Patsy said...

That's sad, Kitty.

I'm never sure why some people think friends we make on the internet can't be real friends. We chat, laugh together, share experiences, support each other, even disagree sometimes, just as 'real' friends do.

Summer Ross said...

It is very sad news, and yes shocking!

Donna Hosie said...

How heartbreaking.

Manzanita said...

I certainly understand how you feel. I too, feel close to my fellow bloggers. I glanced at her blog and obit and she was only 62. That may sound old to some but to me it's very young. :) Thanks for sharing this, Kitty.
Love and peace

Eliza said...

Oh that's awful. I know what you mean, I'm only in contact with other bloggers through their posts and sometimes twitter, but somehow you start to feel you know people. This is so sad, good of her husband to let her bloggy friends know.

Al said...

friends are friends no matter how you reach them.
Give Charlie and extra hug I am sure you need it.
Take care

Madeleine said...

Yes I can well understand your reaction.That is so sad.

I've just taken my almost 2yr old, Borage, to the vet for his 4th lot of stitches. x

Mr Puddy said...

Me and my mom was shocked when read your post too. But for us social networking “friends” are real !
We didn't connect by see each other, We might never know each other in real life but we all are connected in mind.

For my mom, Thats count ! We read, we comment that's communication. To be sad and shock. that's simple normal. My mom cry most of the time when she heard one of my friends went to the bridge. Mom is so worry when one of us is so sick. because we all here already have a relationship in some way.

Please Take Care.
xoxo

Kea said...

Oh, Jennifer, I'm sorry...for her husband, for all who were touched by her in some way.

It's true that cyber "friends" and "relationships" aren't the same as face-to-face ones, yet in some ways I think we can connect more deeply with those behind the keyboard, because sometimes we're able to share our Selves in our blogs, no masks. And we connect with those with whom we have common interests, which isn't always the case in "real" life.

Beyond that, I do believe we're all One, we're all connected anyway. So your shock and grief at her passing are quite valid, quite real.

Sending Love and Light.

Brian said...

I am so sorry to hear about your blogging friend. Our blogging pals are very real to us and we feel so very close to all of them.

Random Felines said...

I think your reaction is completely fair and normal. So many of us are so busy that this community (and it is a community) come to think of each other as friends and family - no matter that we wouldn't know each other if we ran into each other in a store. The fact is that we grow to "know" each other out here and each loss is felt - no matter how long we knew them.

Hannah and Lucy said...

We are sorry to hear about your friend Jenn - it must have been a shock to you when you read it.
We hope Charlie will give you lots of cuddles tonight and a big kitty headbutt. We suggest (or mum does) a large drink tonight of the falling over sort.
Take care
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Ellen Brickley said...

Kitty, I'm sorry to hear about Jane. I know that social networking friendships are different to offline ones but they're friendships nevertheless - I know I was up the walls recently about a blog follower caught up in the Alabama tornadoes.

We connect with people in all sorts of ways and it's great that the digital age has given us another way to do that.

Bossy Betty said...

Yes, we do form friendships through blogging and I think you have to BE a blogger to really understand the depths of the relationships that are formed. So sorry to hear of your friend's passing....

KarenMcG said...

"Old Kitty", I'm so sorry to learn about the passing of your "new blogging friend, Jane".

I certainly can understand your bit of confusion regarding your feelings about this.

For even though one doesn't usually actually physically meet an "Internet connection", you can still become invested in that person and what he or she has to say and how they feel and you, too, as a result of your "knowing" him or her through his or her words.

Obviously, she resonated with you.

I empathize with you.

notesfromnadir said...

That's not only sad it's so unexpected. But it shows how compassionate you are. Hug Charlie, he'll understand.

Marg said...

Oh that is sad. Don't feel badly about being attached to your internet friends. I am the same way. We all get attached to the people we converse with, even it is in cyber space. That must have been a horrible shock. Take care. Give Charlie a hug for us too.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, that's so sad. I think we still form very close bonds with our blogger friends. I absolutely ADORE so many of our circle and would be devastated to hear news like that. I understand your tears, Kitty. Hug Charlie for me, too.

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Online friendships are just as real as offline ones, or that's what I've found anyway.

*hugs*

Alex the Cat - Feeling Beachie said...

wow... It can't imagine what you must have felt... I feel so strange now, and I never read her blog. It is weird, we meet all these people, share all out thoughts and emotions and never meet them. I never would have imagined, before I started blogging, how many people I never met, could touch me so deeply... Hugs...Hilary & Alex

The Golden Eagle said...

Jane was a wonderful blogger--I've been following for a long time, and always enjoyed her posts.

And even if I only knew her through blogging, it's so sad.

Ginger Jasper said...

I know just how you feel. I am so in tune with my blogging friends that I cry with them smile with them and feel so much their pain and their happiness. I never knew when I started this just how much it would become so important and how many true friends I would make. So yes you feel as though you have lost a friend. Hug Charlie very close. With love, Carol and GJ xx

Ellie said...

This is so sad. I had never visited her blog before but I can totally understand your shock and feelings of loss. I am sending a big virtual hug your way.

Medeia Sharif said...

I am saddened to hear this.

There are many people we may only know online, rather than face to face, but their presence would still be missed.

Beth Zimmerman said...

We are real people out here ... not figments of the imagination! Some of us feel that connection more strongly than others. I think that is a mixed blessing because it reminds us that these are real people with real hearts ... but it also leaves us vulnerable to real hurt and loss! Hugs to you and Charlie, Jenn! Love ya!

Susan Kane said...

Loss is loss, real or electronic. I am so sorry for her passing.

Clarissa Draper said...

Recently I learned that one of my beta readers (one who I met online, one who was so incredibly supportive) passed away. It broke my heart. I know we don't always meet the people we meet online but I consider all of you friends.

ABBY said...

I have had a handful of long time bloggers die. Alan Sullivan was one who touched me so deeply. He was a brilliant man. He was so well versed on so many topics. I began following him during Hurricane Karina and he was a true voice of Hurricane forecasting -- something that touches me each summer. When he succumbed to cancer and he knew he would, it was still a shock because he had beaten it back so many times. I still miss him. With this world becoming so crazy his well reasoned posts were a calming balm to read. I did feel like I 'knew' him. Like Amy said we come to know bloggers so intimately because of the very nature of the written word.

I am sorry for this loss.
It hurts...
and it is a loss.

xoxox

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

OMG that is awful. I am so sorry. I also completely understand how you feel the way you do.
It is amazing how many of us have only known each other briefly but as Amy said often other bloggers know more about us than our families do.
We grow to look forward to our "regulars" who loyally leave us comments (like you are so wonderful about doing)...they become an important and vital part of our lives.
Even if many of us are thousands of miles away from each other there is something about you and many others who blog/comment that touch our hearts and earn an important place in them.
I am so very sorry...I would be equally as devastated.
My thoughts are with you and Charlie and my love as well
xoxoxo

Jo said...

Don't even apologize for caring...I love seeing your posts on Isabellas site!

William Kendall said...

That's very sad... and your reaction is completely understandable.

I hadn't come across her blog before.

Esme said...

This is just terrible-You feel horrible because you care-it is interesting how while we may never have met any of our blog friends their lives are as important to us as our non-blog friends.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I'm so glad I didn't miss this post, Jen. I know how you feel! Since I began blogging four years ago I "met" many bloggers who I've become attached to as online friends only, yet they feel as real as friends I see daily, and then unfortunately they stop blogging and are gone A few still keep in touch on facebook but many don't communicate back at all. I've also had one blog friend die--that was the saddest and hardest experience I've had as like you I cried for days as if she were a member of my family! I keep thinking of the saying "Don't cry because it is over, be happy that it happened at all" and I try to remember that even a temporary friend is better than no friend at all. We learn something form everyone we meet and take a little bit of them with us. I'm sure you will carry Jane in your heart forever.
{{hugs}}}